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Feb 22

Mold vs Mildew: What’s the Difference?

Terms: Tips

How to Tell the Difference Between Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew are two words that you often hear together. In many ways, they look similar, have similar side effects, and are found in the same environment. Even though these two items are incredibly similar, they are not the same.

Instead, it may be helpful to think of them as siblings. They share very similar structures and characteristics, but they are not identical. This means that you need to know about their differences to best treat them whenever you find them in your home.

What is the Difference Between Mold and Mildew?

In this article, we’re going to learn the difference between mold and mildew. This will help keep your Panama City Beach home and family happy and healthy, before or after a flood.

Let’s get started.


Mold is simply a type of fungus. It will have multiple identical nuclei and grow in patches. These patches can be white, black, purple, orange, or green. They penetrate the material they are sitting on, creating what you likely know as mold damage.

To grow, mold needs moisture and warmth. That is why mold most often hides out in your kitchen or bathroom: there are high amounts of water, and there is a chance for warmth in these areas. Remove the moisture, and you will remove the mold.

Mold grows and reproduces very quickly. It reproduces whenever spores are moved from location to location. If the wind blows or the mold hitches a ride on your clothes, it can spread and grow within 24 hours.

There are several different varieties of mold. It is estimated that there are over 10,000 types of mold that can live indoors. Even though there are so many types of mold, you will most likely find one of five within your home:

  • Alternaria: Grows on walls, windows, showers, sinks, and other damp places; most often grows after water damage.
  • Aspergillus:Grows on items like walls, paper, clothing, and insulation.
  • Cladosporium:Grows on fabrics, curtains, carpet, and would; one of the only indoor molds that can thrive in cold environments.
  • Penicillium:Grows on wallpaper, mattresses, insulation, or carpeting that has come into contact with water.
  • Stachybotrys Chartarum:Grows around conditioning ducts, the pipes, or anywhere else exposed to constant dampness; also called black mold.

Of these mole types, black mold is the most dangerous. It can produce mycotoxins, which is a toxic compound. This compound can lead to allergic reactions, asthma attacks, fatigue, respiratory issues, depression, and more.

Treatment Options

Serious mold infestations typically come after a flood or some other large exposure to water. Hire a team for flood damage repair to ensure that the structural integrity of your home is still intact. While this team makes sure your home is safe to live in, they should test for mold as well. Mold testing in Panama City FL keeps your home and family safe.

If the mold infestation is not very serious yet, you can treat it yourself. You can find many options and recipes online made with common household ingredients, such as bleach, hydrogen peroxide, and vinegar. You can also purchase premade mold removers at the store.

Still, hiring a mold removal service will ensure that the mold is properly removed. Given how easily mold can spread and reproduce, you might want to invest in a restoration service.


Now, let’s move on to mildew. Mildew is a type of mold, but it does not penetrate the surface of whatever it is sitting on. Instead, it remains on the surface and grows outwards. You will most likely find mildew on organic materials like damp surfaces, fabrics, plants, or paper.

Mildew is often a type of disease on plants as well. It can cause incredible damage to crops because it is difficult to treat without harming the plant in the process. The type of plant or material that the mildew grows on determines the mildew type. There are two types of mildew:

  • Powdery Mildew: Affects flowering plants; first appears gray or white but grows to become yellowish brown or black.
  • Downy Mildew:Affects agricultural products like potatoes; appearance depends on the surface it grows on; normally appears yellow but turns to brown.

Neither of these types of mildew is particularly more dangerous to humans than the other. You will want to treat mildew as soon as you see it, but mildew does not pose the same threat to humans as mold does. That is largely because mildew does not penetrate the surface of items.

Treatment Options

Mildew is relatively easy to remove. You will likely not need to hire a restoration team since it can easily be removed and does not penetrate any surfaces. You can get mildew cleaner at the local store. You can also make your solution by deluding bleach in water or vinegar in water.

While cleaning away mildew, wear gloves and a mask. Even though it isn’t as dangerous as mold, it still can impact your health negatively.

Which Is More Serious? Mold or Mildew?

Between these two options, mold is more serious since it can be more toxic, penetrates the surface, and is harder to remove. If you have any mold inside your home, you need to treat it right away before it worsens and negatively impacts your health.

That is not to say that you should ignore mildew. Mildew is also dangerous if it goes untreated for a long time. Treat the mildew as soon as you see it to protect your health.

If you are not sure which one you have in your house, get mold removal in Miramar, FL. These professionals will tell you exactly what is in your home. If it is mold, mold remediation in Panama City FL will be able to remove the issue and make your home safe once again.


Mold and mildew are like siblings: they are incredibly similar, but they are not identical. Treat mold and mildew differently to make your home as safe and livable as possible. If you are unsure which is in your home, contact a team for help.

To find out if mold or mildew is in your home or to treat the issue, call 850-660-1473 for a free in-home inspection.